Dog will not quit digging under fence...Hole-y War!?
I need advice from dog owners who have successfully stopped their dog from digging out of their yard. She has dug under my wooden fence repeatedly despite an expensive "invisible fence" system buried next to the fence. I have buried 8 inch deep boards around my yard and she still digs below them!! She is walked a mile daily, roams the park on weekends, has 2 other dogs in my home to play with and many toys to stimulate her while I work an 8 hour day. My neighbor returns her when she escapes but I am afraid she will be run over if she continues. Please advise. thank you.
- Bonita ApplebaumLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
Filling in the holes: Put charcoal in the hole. Then try refilling the holes with junk. Dogs quickly lose interest and pretty much stop digging. Fill the hole with whatever is at hand - dead leaves, sticks, pine needles, rocks or even dog feces. Fill the top 2 inches or so with dirt. The dog finds the stuff, gets discouraged and often quits digging. They seem to get the idea they'll never know where they'll find junk, and it's not worth the effort to dig only to find junk so they quit.
Surprises in the hole: The Koehler dog method advocates filling holes with water and sticking dog's head under the water for a few seconds or so. This may not work with some breeds (e.g., Labradors), and may not appeal to you as a method to try. Alternatively, you can try burying a water balloon in one of the holes which will pop in its face when it starts digging (surprise).
A sandbox: Try to remember that digging is a natural tendency for dogs. So, if there is any place where your dog may be allowed to dig, you should encourage it (and only in that place). Designate an area where the dog can dig. Many people build a sand box for their dog. Place the box in an area that is cool in summer and warm in winter.
To teach the dog to dig only in the box, place or bury toys or treats (sliced hotdogs, for example) in the box. Encourage the dog to dig up the toy or treat. Praise the dog. Repeat until the dog willingly jumps in and digs. Watch the dog. When it starts to dig in any other place, quickly go out and take your dog to its box. Show it (by digging yourself), that it should dig in its box.
To deter boredom, place several toys/treats in the box before you leave for work. The dog will spend its time digging in the correct place rather than digging up your roses. You can also sprinkle animal essence (available at hunting supplies places).
Remember that dogs like to dig in freshly turned earth. So get out that shovel and turn the dirt over in the sand box every now and then. Toss in some fresh dirt. Keep a close eye on freshly planted areas, as they will be very attractive (bury some extra hotdogs in the sandbox when you are putting down new plants).
Put a cheap wooden deck over the area of the backyard. Or get a roll of rabbit cage wire (Home Depot) and lay flat over ground, stake it down. Also you say you walk him, so section off your yard with the wire leaving enough room for a toilet area.
Line the yard. for extreme cases you can line the yard with chicken wire and put a layer of sod over that. Use paving bricks or blocks around the edge to prevent the dog from injuring itself on the edge of the chicken wire.
We have 2 dogs and had a similar problem. Our vet told us to fill the holes with the dogs' feces and cover with dirt. Sounds disgusting, but guess what - it worked! Seems the dogs can smell it, and so they won't dig it up.
Ok this is going to raise some eyebrows but it is not so bad, really. I did dog rescue work for 13 years and one of the vets we use suggested that when we trim the dogs nails that we trim them just a bit shorter than you are supposed to and apply styptic powder. It doesn't exactly hurt when they dig but it is uncomfortable like when you chew a nail down to the quick. It took me a while to get up the courage to do this but the dogs didn't seem to be in distress at all and quit digging. Of course you have to give them other stuff to do chew toys etc, and lots of exercise. I tried the chicken wire thing and it cut up their paws much crueler I think than this. You could file them down if you don't like using the clippers.
- CatherineLv 44 years ago
Why do you have dogs? I know dogs can have some very frustrating habits but you dont seem to care about them at all. Shoving, spanking and smacking is not going to work and is cruel. The best thing you can do is put something under the fence. We have put rocks under ours, which has worked but there is a high chance this wont work with yours, they will probably just dig elsewhere. A designated area where they are allowed to dig or a sandpit is normally suggested for this, as some dogs you cant stop them digging because it is their instinct or they simply just enjoy it. But it sounds like you dont want to put in that much effort. Why are you not going to put a footing around your entire perimeter just to stop this? Maybe you should think about giving them to someone who is willing to properly care for them.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I had a friend with a wonderful dog that had the exact problem. They took very good care of this dog, did everything by the book, and she was well-trained, EXCEPT when it came to digging. She was constantly digging holes around the gate surrounding their pool. Then, after a few months, they noticed she was acting like a cat with her paws, grooming them, pulling on the toenails with her teeth, gnawing around her toes. The family took the dog to the vet and he diagnosed her with an infection that dogs commonly get around and in-between the toe area of their paws. Many pets are not treated for this condition because owners assume their animal just likes to dig a lot. He ended up giving the dog medication and the infection cleared up within two weeks. Guess what? No more digging after that. It turned out she had been frantically digging to try and relieve some of the itchy pressure around her toes.
- 1 decade ago
depending on how much you want to spend and the size of your yard, you might like to look at an electric fence system that is used to keep in stock such as cattle and horses, and run a wire around the botton of your fence line about 6 inches off the ground and 6inches from the fence using insulated supports for the wire. if you do use this system, the first day you use it supervise the dogs closely as it can be very confusing to your dogs the first couple of zapps. we have an electric stock fence around our garden to keep the dogs out and it works
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- 1 decade ago
Ok, try this:
First, take her to the groomer and have them trim her nails down a little too short. Then, put carpet on the ground next to the fence. (about 12 inches wide)
The dog will try to dig through the carpet, and it will make her paws soar, plus she won't be able to dig through the carpet. She will then get bored of doing it and stop.
- CF_Lv 71 decade ago
she gets walks but is she mentally stimulated?? some dogs require a good lot of mental stimulation - (what breed) since she is doing this and it has become a "game" for her...
the toys alone might not be enough.. some toys are better than others - espeically the kind you can fill with goodies...
has she been to Obedience or would she like agility??
- 1 decade ago
my friends dog kept digging out so they had to run a electric fence around the bottom of the fence it doesn't hurt them it just gives them a lilltle reminder that thier supposed to stay in
- 1 decade ago
We fill the holes up with their dog poo then cover them over. Our dogs no longer dig it took about three weeks. You might have to tie her on a long leash while she is out for her own safety.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
dogs hate vinager try that one and also make a soeciall place for your dog to dig so every time the dog digs by the fence simpley tell it no and lead it to the area that is for it to dig this worked on my dog just remember that if you hit it the dog will not learn